Wednesday, August 31, 2011

One. Tired. Frugalista.

I'm starting to wonder what happened to those supposedly long and lazy days of summer. In the last month or so since we got back from our camping trip, it seems like we've been going full tilt on any number of projects:

Getting a patio built in the corner of our yard. This involved digging a 10 by 12 foot hole that was 6 inches deep, filling it with a 2 inch layer of gravel, a 2 inch layer of screenings (really fine gravel), installing the metal edging around the sides, and then laying the bricks on top (you can see the before shots of this area of the yard here). There is still more work to be done to finish this off properly (sand-setting the brick and landscaping the beds around the side) so hopefully I'll have another update on this project before the snow flies!

Refurbishing our Muskoka chairs on the front porch;  they were in pretty desperate need of a new coat of paint. My hubby had built the footstools a couple of years ago, but never got around to painting them, so I spent a long day wood filling, sanding, priming and painting. The results are worth all that effort though, since it looks like we got brand new furniture for our front porch (the Muskoka chairs are nearly 13 years old now and still going strong).

Running a produce cooperative; this photo is from our August 20th exchange where we had offerings of Swiss chard, beans, peppers (red, sweet banana and hot), zucchini, cucumbers, rhubarb, carrots, green onions, lots o' tomatoes (beefsteak, Lemon Boy, yellow pear), parsley, sage, rosemary, dill and mint - all FRESH, LOCAL and FREE!

Keeping the veggie garden under control; the peppers are really starting to ripen fast with the colder nights we've been having! I'm going to slice and chop some of them for the freezer - being able to toss red peppers into a stew or stir fry in the middle of winter is such a treat.

Freshening up the flowerbed alongside our front walkway by transplanting a shrub and some perennial geranium, and popping in some mums for late summer/fall colour.

Add to that painting the front hall banister (I just now realized I still don't have a post-paint job photo of it!), various smaller projects (like reknitting the cotton bath mat that suffered a fatal injury in the wash - you can see it in a heap in the Muskoka chair photo), getting the kids registered for all their fall activities, and a trip to Value Village on 50% off day (more about that later), and you have a recipe for exhaustion.

I'd like to say things are going to slow down here for a while, but it doesn't look that way for the foreseeable future. We need to get a lot of canning done, as we're behind our usual schedule due to all the aforementioned projects we've been working on! We also need to get organized for the mid-September camping trip we're planning (which should hopefully be a nice restful week once we actually get there). Plus there will be the usual increase in busy-ness that comes with fall and a return to lots of different scheduled activities.

Has your summer been long and leisurely, or filled with lots of projects like ours?

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